Cyprus Mail

Helios orphans to get part of their compensation back

Around 30 children orphaned in the 2005 Helios crash are see part return of the money slashed from their compensation during the 2013 deposits haircut, Commissioner for Humanitarian Affairs Fotis Fotiou said on Wednesday.

He said the cabinet had also approved the hiring into the public service of one relative from each of the families of the 13 victims of the 2011 Mari naval base explosion.

Quoting Fotiou, state broadcaster CyBC said the first measure concerned 30 children and young adults who were underage in 2005 when they lost their parents in the Helios airplane accident that killed 121 passengers and crew.

Following the haircut, they saw hundreds of thousands of euros in compensation taken overnight from accounts in Bank of Cyprus and the now defunct Laiki.

The 30 orphans will receive back part of the sums taken, Fotiou told CyBC.

This he added, was expected to be implemented within the next two months. The amount returned will be decided according to each case and “its level of humanitarian needs”.

The committee’s decision comes after repeated pleas by the orphans’ relatives for the children’s deposits to be exempted from the haircut.  Many of the orphans were left rely on the meagre pensions of their grandparents who were left to raise them after the crash,

As regards the relatives of the 13 people that died in the Mari naval base blast on July 2011, the committee proposed that one family member of each of the victims would be hired by the public service. The proposal was approved by the cabinet earlier in the month.

The 13 victims were six firemen and seven sailors. The main beneficiaries of the measure will be the spouses and the children of the victims. In the case where a victim was single without children, one of their siblings would benefit.


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